Felipe Massa praying for Michael Schumacher's recovery from coma
Felipe Massa is hoping the fact Michael Schumacher is being brought out of his induced coma is the first step on the road to recovery.
Confirmation emerged on Thursday that doctors treating Schumacher at the University of Grenoble hospital have started the process of awakening the seven-times Formula One champion.
It follows a month under sedation for the 45-year-old who required two operations to remove blood clots from his brain resulting from severe head injuries suffered in a skiing accident at the end of December.
Unconfirmed reports suggest Schumacher has responded positively to neurological tests and instructions this past week.
Massa, close friends with the German following their time together at Ferrari in 2006, would like to believe the early signs are encouraging.
"I heard a few days ago they were trying to reduce the medication to help wake him and that is important," said Massa.
"I hope he can be strong enough to recover and I pray for him every day.
"I feel very sorry over what happened and I hope he can be back at the place he loves and be back here at the circuit watching the cars in action."
The Brazilian, now with Williams for the new forthcoming season, was able to make a full recovery from his own head injury sustained in an accident in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009.
Massa also required life-saving surgery, along with titanium plates to repair his damaged skull, although did not spend anywhere near the length of time Schumacher has under sedation.
Massa is hoping, however, Schumacher's level of fitness will play a key role in his recovery.
Speaking in Jerez at the first Formula One test, Massa added: "Michael is a very athletic man and that will help him.
"My own recovery was helped because I was more athletic and I hope it can be the same for him and that he will slowly recover."